Today's buyers are more concerned than ever about living green, and that means finding an eco-friendly home. How do you know the home you want is truly green?
Green means different things to different people. Buyers focused on energy cost savings prefer homes that have basic energy-efficient features, such as Energy Star appliances, weatherproofed windows and good insulation. Buyers concerned about personal health issues prefer homes that use non-toxic materials such as low VOC paints and bamboo flooring. Still other buyers want to contribute to a more sustainable future. They look for building materials that are produced locally or use reclaimed wood.
At the most basic level, Energy Star appliance, double-paned windows and efficient heating and cooling systems can lower energy bills and give buyers peace of mind. Other factors to consider include:
- Cost. Expect to pay more for a green home. A recent study by the University of California finds that green-certified, single family home sold for 9% more than a comparable home that wasn't green.
- Square footage. The larger the home, the more energy it consumes. Buying a smaller home is more economical.
- Paint. Use water-based paints that contain lower levels of VOCs than conventional oil-based paints. VOCs emit gases that can cause health issues.
- Carpeting/flooring. Choose carpeting made from recycled or renewable materials. For wood flooring, bamboo or reclaimed wood are popular choices.
- Utilities. Review past utility bills to determine typical monthly energy costs. Also request documentation on any green features that have been added to the property.
- Landscaping. Choose plants and trees that don't require the same level of maintenance as a lawn.
Favorable weather and restored confidence are propelling home buying activity aournd Western Washington to the highest level in nearly a decade, according to NWMLS report released on Mar. 5th, 2015.
Pending sales surged 18.7% in February compared to the same month a year ago. The number might be even higher given the ample supply of buyers, but inventory is far from ample.
"listings are flying off the shelf faster than allergy medicine in this early spring market", quipped MLS director Frank Wilson. Brisk activity is posing challenges for buyers. "They will probably make several offers before one is accepted and they just need to expect to be competing with others"
The housing market is on fire now. Sellers haven't experienced a market this favorable since frothy days. (of 10 years ago). Savvy sellers need savvy listing brokers to help market the listing, also an ABR to help find a replacement homes. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a listing consultation to help you get top dollars in this market.
websites answer your question?[/caption]~~Fast and Easy But is it Accurate? – 3/2/2015
There are sites all over the web that offer to tell you what your home is worth. Simply plug in your address and email and you’ll get a value. It’s fast; it’s easy but is it accurate?
The value is determined by what is called an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) that analyzes public record data with computer decision logic. Square footage, age, number of bedrooms and location are easily definable objective data. The challenge is identifying, measuring and comparing the subjective data.
An AVM cannot identify how unique features might add or detract from the value, if the market is declining or why the comparable sales apply or don’t apply to the subject property. Is a home worth more because it is near shopping or less because it is across the street from a high-traffic commercially zoned property?
Experienced professionals are more likely to make proper adjustments for condition, market appeal and positive and negative influences.
Imagine that you’re going out for dinner and you consult HamburgerAVM.com to tell you how much a hamburger is worth. It might be accurate based on condiments, vegetables and weight but can it address things like taste, quality, cleanliness, service, convenience or atmosphere. You certainly couldn’t present the printout to the waiter to negotiate a lower price.
An AVM can be a tool that a homeowner, prospective buyer, mortgage officer, appraiser or real estate agent can use to get a quick idea of price but there are inherent limitations that can only be considered by personal examination balanced with experience in the market place.
Experience and understanding of the subject property and the marketplace are critical to having confidence that a value is accurate. Any person could go through the same steps to arrive at a value but an experienced, well-trained professional is far more likely to assess all of the variables more accurately.